News Notes for March 9, 2011 - This week’s News Notes is brought to you by Back on Track, offering a natural road back to good health for you and your horse. Both coasts of the U.S. have some seriously heavy dressage action this weekend with CDI competition. The FEI’s first dressage judge general has been named. A New Zealand horse that is in the running for a Horse of the Year award has been getting attacked when out showing. Courtney King-Dye’s speech at the Equestrian Aid Foundation fundraiser makes news. And young rider dressage teams in Britain show great talent for team names.
There is international dressage action on both American coasts this weekend. In Florida, the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge II CDI3* runs through Saturday and it is playing host to North America’s only CDI5* - The World Dressage Masters. It all takes place at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee. The Masters is drawing top riders from around the world, including the leading U.S. pair of Steffen Peters and Ravel. Steffen and Ravel flew in from California, thus skipping the other big CDI going on in the U.S. this weekend, the Dressage Affaire CDI-W in Del Mar, California. Steffen and Ravel might not be there, but clearly other riders from throughout the western U.S. and Canada will be. The Dressage Affaire producers, Keenan Productions, reports that response is so huge that riders are being turned away.
A number of other competitions are taking place around the U.S. this weekend. Two other events in California are Dressage at CEC in Moorpark and Yarra Yarra Dressage in Pleasanton. Spring into Dressage is being held in Boring, Oregon. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, dressage riders are gathering for the Dances with Horses I. Back in the East, Ocala, Florida is hosting the Ocala Spring Dressage. And in Hamilton, Georgia there is the Poplar Place Farm Dressage Show.
Horse and Hound reported this week on the election of the FEI’s first dressage judge general and that is Dutch judge Ghislain Fourage. He’s judged at a number of international events including the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games. His election took place during a five-star judges’ seminar in Warendorf, Germany. According to the FEI, this new position was created to “ensure greater consistency and accuracy at all levels of dressage judging.” You can read more Here!
The media in Michigan continues to cover the progress of Olympian Courtney King-Dye and her recent speech during a fundraiser for the Equestrian Aid Foundation made the Saginaw News in her home state. This past week marked the one-year date of Courtney’s accident, which happened on March 4, 2010. It’s been a long year for Courtney but she has made progress that has even seen her riding again, even if just for therapy. Most of all, her accident raised the level of awareness in the risk of riding without a helmet. Courtney has nearly single-handedly changed the attitude of the sport of dressage. Not only are there new mandatory helmet rules, but an increasing number of FEI-level competitors are now seen in the show ring wearing helmets instead of top hats. Courtney has clearly sealed her name in the dressage history books for years to come as the story of how one person saved the lives of many who followed after her.
New Zealand seems to have its share of not so good news these days. Coming out of the country this week was news of an attack on a horse at one of the country’s biggest horse events. Stuff.co.nz media reported on a horse named Squirt who was found with creosote, a wood preservative that burns skin, smeared on his face and around his left eye. It happened while the horse was stabled on the Hawera show grounds. Squirt, owned by Kathryn Corry, has not had it easy. The week before, at another show, someone rubbed a chemical near his girth area. Clearly, it sounds like a fellow competitor gone amuck. Squirt is a serious contender for the Horse of the Year award in the amateur show hunter category. The Horse of the Year final competition is expected to draw over 2,600 horses in New Zealand and organizers say in light of these previous incidents, security will be tight. You can read more Here!
You have to love the name of this winning team. The West Sussex Gazette reported that the West Sussex Riding Club in Britain recently organized a Winter Indoor Team Dressage competition that attracted 16 young rider teams. The teams from Horsham should have won the prize for best team names but instead settled for the first-place win in the senior division. The name of the winning team is the Horsham Hooligans. Another Horsham team is named the Hippies. Young riders do know how to pick good names. Other teams competing at the event included the Goring Gangsters, the Goring Go Getters and the West Sussex Little Witches, which probably refers to the riders who undoubtedly had another name for some of their horses. Read more Here!